(ConservativeSense.com) – A conservative art student who was censored by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) finally settled her lawsuit with the college after the student sued them for violating her free speech.
The student, Maggie DeLong, claims that the school interfered with her right to free speech and her ability to express her personal beliefs, and that the institution also exhibited biased treatment based on her political views. She launched her lawsuit against SIUE last year.
Aside from agreeing to pay $80,000 to DeLong, part of the settlement requires three professors at the university to undergo training on free speech and how to protect it in a higher education setting. The student guidebook will be significantly revised, and there will be policy changes implemented to encourage an environment embracing a diversity of religious, ideological, and political perspectives on campus.
The situation began after DeLong posted on social media in defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, whose trial became a national spectacle. DeLong also openly opposed critical race theory. Fellow students began to criticize DeLong and filed complaints with the university, resulting in three “no-contact orders” being issued against her. The orders prohibited DeLong from making any contact, direct or indirect, with the three students who claimed DeLong’s views were discriminatory and a form of “harassment.”
These measures, according to the senior counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), who helped broker the settlement, impeded DeLong’s ability to fully participate in classroom debates. The university also encouraged DeLong’s classmates to report any further “harmful rhetoric,” which prevented DeLong from having any opportunity to defend her positions in an academic setting.
DeLong’s settlement is a big win for free speech, and it also demonstrates the increasing political polarization of the United States, which is not only limited to Republican and Democratic politicians but now permeates the university campus.
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